"The Imitation Game" has won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival Sunday, Sept. 14.
The historical thriller film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a British Genius who cracked Nazi Germany's Enigma code that helped the Allies win the World War II, won the Groslch People's Choice award for best film at the Sunday morning annual awards brunch that marked the closing of the 11-day film festival.
Elevation Pictures' Noah Segal accepted the award on behalf of director Morten Tyldum, saying, "Yummy, delicious," a reference to an audience member who had declared the same about Cumberbatch during a Q&A session after the film's screening during the festival. "It was unnerving, but true," added Segal, according to Reuters.
"It's a terrific story and it's a story that's not that well-known," festival artistic director Cameron Bailey said of "The Imitation Game" following the awards ceremony, according to CBC News. "You've got terrific direction - Morten Tyldum was here before with 'Headhunters' - and one of the best actors and stars in the world right now in Benedict Cumberbatch."
The award, which is chosen by audience members, cemented the film's position in a rapidly developing Oscar race since three of the past six People's Choice Award winners ended up winning the Academy Awards for Best Picture: "The King's Speech," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "12 Years a Slave," according to the Los Angeles Times.
Cumberbatch, one of the most sought-after actors in both film and television today, revealed to Reuters last week that he immediately agreed to playing Turing.
"There is a huge burden, an onus of responsibility," the 38-year-old "Sherlock" actor said. "This was an extraordinary man and sadly, bizarrely not that well known a man of his achievements."
"I think it's just astonishing considering his level of achievements and what he stands for that he is relatively obscure," Cumberbatch told the Los Angeles Times.
"The Imitation Game" will be released theatrically on Nov. 21 in the U.S.
Below are the winners of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival:
Grolsch People's Choice Award: "The Imitation Game"
First runner-up: "Learning to Drive"
Second runner-up: "St. Vincent"
Grolsch People's Choice Documentary Award: "Beats of the Antonov"
Grolsch People's Choice Midnight Madness Award: "What We Do in the Shadows"
Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film: "Felix and Meira"
City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film: "Bang Bang Baby"
Award for Best Canadian Short Film: "The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer"
Award for Best International Short Film: "A Single Body"
International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize) - Discovery: "May Allah Bless France!"
International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize) - Special Presentations: "Time Out of Mind"
NETPAC Award: "Margarita, with a Straw"
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